Demystifying the IODP Proposal Process for Early Career Scientists:

Pacific Ocean


Time: February 17-20, 2020


Location: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, New York, USA


Workshop Committee: Jeanine Ash (Rice Univ.), Rocío Caballero-Gill (George Mason Univ./Brown Univ.), Andy Fraass (Acad. Natural Sciences, Drexel Univ./Univ. Bristol), Jessica Labonté (Texas A&M Univ., Galveston), Chris Lowery (Univ. Texas, Austin), Steve Phillips (Univ. Texas, Austin), Sonia Tikoo (Stanford Univ.)


Steering Committee: Steven Clemens (Brown Univ.), Cecilia McHugh (Queens College), Marta Torres (Oregon State Univ.)


Deadline to apply for this workshop has closed.

Scientific ocean drilling is central to the study of Earth’s climate history, tectonic evolution, geohazards, and deep biosphere. A large, dynamic, and diverse ocean drilling community is vital to the health of the program; engaging early career scientists in expedition planning and leadership is critical to the future of IODP. For early career scientists who are new to the community, developing an IODP proposal from conception to drilling is a daunting task that can appear insurmountable. This workshop for early career researchers aims to correct that. Participants will hear a series of speakers explain the structure of IODP and how early career scientists can become involved in IODP activities from sailing to expedition proposals. Then, they will work on the initial stages of developing real drilling proposals in the Pacific Ocean.


The workshop will:


1)  Provide early career scientists with direct experience in the IODP proposal process,


2)  Build an interdisciplinary community of early career researchers that will be able to develop active research programs in coordination with the evolving landscape of ocean drilling research,


3)  And develop drilling proposal ideas to investigate the Pacific Basin, where the JOIDES Resolution ship track is expected beginning 2023. Prior research experience in this basin is not required for participation.

The primary objective of this workshop is the development of the next generation of IODP scientists, both by educating participants about upper-level IODP functions and building collaborative relationships within our peer-group. We aim to attract a diverse array of specialists (in geophysics, paleoceanography, deep biosphere, tectonics, etc.) to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations.


To achieve these goals, groups of participants will work together on developing the initial ideas for real IODP proposals. We expect to leave the workshop with “roadmaps” for drilling proposals, which can then be extensively developed in the following months into preliminary drilling proposals (Pre-Proposals) or scientific planning workshop proposals for submission to IODP. Experienced ocean drilling researchers will give talks on the IODP proposal process, mentor groups as they work on their proposal ideas, and provide a mock review at the end of the workshop.

The workshop will take place at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in Palisades, NY on February 17th through 20th.


Participants will be asked to synthesize some aspect of Pacific Ocean drilling (assigned by the workshop organizers) prior to the workshop to facilitate proposal discussions and working groups.


Lodging at a nearby hotel will be arranged for workshop participants and transportation between the hotel and Lamont campus will be provided. Participants will share rooms. Additional logistics details will be updated in the coming months.

Participation support is available from the U.S. Science Support Program for a limited number of graduate students and early career researchers (i.e., completed PhD within the past 10 years) from U.S. institutions and organizations.


U.S.-affiliated scientists who are interested in participating in the workshop should send: (1) a 2-page CV or biographical sketch (NSF-style); and (2) a 1-page statement of interest to Steve Phillips ( In the statement of interest, please address the following topics in brief paragraphs: (a) identify your research specialty and the IODP theme that you most identify with (see IODP Science Plan), (b) one idea you have that scientific drilling in the Pacific could address, and (c) a diversity and inclusion statement. The deadline has been extended to November 6, 2019 to encourage more participation in the Earth Connections and Earth in Motion themes of the IODP Science Plan.

Past research experience in the Pacific Ocean is not required.

Questions? If you have questions about the 2020 Early Career Workshop please contact the following workshop organizers:


Steve Phillips (

Jessica Labonté (

Rocío Caballero-Gill (